NFL, NFLPA Reportedly Looking to Push Draft to May, Move Up Start of League Year
There already isn't much of an offseason for the NFL, and the league's schedule reportedly is on the verge of becoming even more of a year-round event.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the NFL and NFLPA are "on the verge" of moving the NFL draft to May and moving up the start of the new league year to before the combine, which started on Feb. 20 this year:
NFL and NFLPA are on verge of pushing back draft to May and moving up start of league year to before combine, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
Proposed new league year would start before combine in 2015 and 2016. Change of draft to May effective in 2014.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
Looks like 2014 NFL draft will be held May 15-17. In 2015 and 2016, league year would start early March, combine mid-March.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
These proposed moves would allow teams more time to get their rosters in order before the draft. The proposed changes would also give teams more time to investigate potential rookies before singing them to lucrative contracts.
Schefter further elaborated on ESPN.com that the league would like to have regional scouting combines leading up to the main NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, rather than the other way around.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network verified Schefter's report and provided some other insight as to why the league is considering the move:
The league has looked at tinkering with the league year for a while. @adamschefter most recently said league is on the verge of this move— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 20, 2013
One reason to consider moving the draft: There is a conflict with Radio City when the draft is usually scheduled for in late April— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 20, 2013
For those who want to see the Spring Spectacular in late April at Radio City... You're in luck. The draft won't interfere. Thus, the move.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 20, 2013
According to a report by Albert Breer of NFL.com back in March, the union isn't totally on board with changes to the calendar:
The biggest issue the union and its players have with the calendar, according to the source, is the idea of free agency being backed up further in the year, leaving those players in limbo for longer.
Do you support this proposal to move the draft to the month of May?
It will be interesting to see what the two sides have done to alleviate these concerns, should the new calendar become effective.
One final note of interest, per Schefter, is that Roger Goodell has the power to change the date of the draft without NFLPA approval but would rather move forward with the union's blessing.
Given the contention between the NFL and NFLPA in recent years, it's a smart move by Goodell.
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